Cowboys down defending state champions

Seth McCabe scored in the final two minutes of double overtime, and Camp Verde's boys soccer team defeated the defending state champions Monday.

McCabe's shot into the upper corner lifted the Cowboys to a 3-2 decision over Chino Valley. The game had been tied 2-2 throughout the second half. McCabe, a freshman, has now scored four goals in Camp Verde's first six outings.

"That was probably one of the most exciting games I've been a part of," said Cowboy coach Dave Miller. "To come from behind, tie it up and then struggle through overtime, it instills confidence in the team. It just matures the team."

Camp Verde struck first with a goal by Jesse Taylor early in the contest. Chino Valley tied it up and then went ahead 2-1 with a pair of scores before halftime.

Miller called the equalizer by Josh Ortega the key to the game. Referees whistled Chino for a hand ball about 25 yards in front of its goal with about two minutes to go before halftime.

Ortega took the direct kick and fired a perfect shot past the Cougar keeper.

The game went to overtime after a scoreless second 40 minutes. Neither team recorded a goal in the first 10-minute extra period. After McCabe scored in the second overtime, the Camp Verde defense hung on for the win. Chino beat the Cowboys twice last year on its way to the 1A-3A title.

"It was a really good game," Miller said. "(Chino Valley) played like the defending state champions."

Both teams struggled through less-than-ideal field conditions. Recent rains and problems with the Chino sprinkler system left things a muddy mess. In some places, cleats dug into four inches of soft earth.

"The midfield was just a quagmire," Miller said. "It was tough to generate any offense."

The Cowboys had no problems generating offense in Saturday's home opener against Grand Canyon. Five different players scored as Camp Verde rolled 8-0.

Taylor enjoyed a hat trick – three goals. Conor Borchers scored twice. Sam Miller, Seth Scott and Kyle Vandermale each scored once. The Cowboys led 4-0 at halftime.

Grand Canyon nearly scored in the first 30 seconds of the game, firing a shot that ricocheted off the right post. The Cowboys didn't allow another real threat the rest of the way.

"It took us a second to get into our game," Miller said. "After that, we got a little wake-up call."

The Cowboys will take a 5-1 overall record and 2-0 region record into Thursday's game at Pinon. Camp Verde will host Ash Fork on Saturday at 6 p.m. and then will close out round one of the region schedule next Tuesday against visiting Sedona.

Ash Fork and Sedona both have strong teams this season. Chino escaped against Ash Fork 1-0. Sedona blanked Grand Canyon 6-0 on Friday.

CAMP VERDE GIRLS: The CVHS varsity girls also won at Chino Valley on Monday. The Cowboys scored twice in the second half to pull away 3-1.

Camp Verde's girls will be off until Saturday when Snowflake visits. Like the boys, the girls will host Sedona next Tuesday afternoon.

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